just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Baby Face Restored

Thanks to those of you who offered suggestions on how to finish restoring the baby photo of my mother. You may remember how defaced the original damaged photo was but in case you´ve managed to block that horrific image from your memory, here it is again.

And here´s what I sincerely hope is the final restored version. It´s not perfect but I felt I had to stop somewhere before I ruined its vintage look by overworking it.

First of all I tried doing what Diane suggested to correct the spotty blotch over the left side of the nose, namely by copying the other side, reversing it and moving it into position. That didn´t work but it gave me an idea. I drew a selection around a part of the left side of the cheek which I judged to have the right amount of shading, feathered it, copied it and moved it over. I merged it down and I think at this point I smudged it a little to blend it in. Then, using the clone tool, I recreated the faint dark crease at the side of the nostril and also a small amount of reflected light around the nostril itself which would otherwise have looked too flat. It didn´t actually go as quickly as it sounds because in between each step I had to experiment until I found something that worked. Once I was sure I couldn´t do anything more to it without completely ruining it, I applied the median filter to smooth it just a little. Then I straightened it using the ruler tool, drew a selection around the photo, reversed it and removed the border. After that I created a new one using a pale colour sampled from part of the photo because I thought that white would be too much of a contrast and also unnatural looking around such an old photo.

Here´s a close up of the face as it was...

...and as it is now.

I´m fairly pleased with the way this photo turned out and I learned a lot while working on it though I must confess that I still feel there are areas which could be improved. At least it´s given me the courage to tackle an older and even more damaged photo of my grandmother which has been on my To Do list for about 10 years.


  1. Awesome!!! You could do this for a living. I'm glad you finally have a nice clean photo of your mom as a child. :o)

  2. Thanks, Diane. As for doing this for a living, I shudder at the very thought! It would have been quicker and easier and probably a lot more fun to paint it from scratch than restore it. And, before anyone asks, no I do NOT intend to paint it. I´ve seen more than enough of it for the time being.

  3. Wow, you did a fantastic job on the restoration! What a treasure to have a nice clean photo of your Mom as a baby. LOL, I wasn't going to ask if you were going to paint it, but I do hope you will be inspired to paint again some day, you are so talented. :)

  4. Helen, this is just a wonderful restoration. You can definitely see her little face and it looks really natural!! What a treasure!!

    Hugs, Julie

  5. Congratulations on the restoration of that pretty baby face! I'm glad you're the one who had to spend all that detail time and not me. What patience! Definitely a good choice on the border color.

  6. Marvelous restoration! Congratulations! Now you can look at and use the restored photo in one of your great layouts and never fear looking at it again.

  7. Great job and surely worth the time and effort. You must feel very rewarded to now have this wonderful version of your mom's childhood photo. Yes, I agree that we must see it featured in a future LO! Those big, thoughtful eyes makes me think of some of my middle daughter's photos and even some of Reese.